Britons and War Crimes

Three persons suspects on war crimes in the invaded and occupied land of iraq? is it real (or just that few to maintain the other credibility? or what?) one wonders….

Britons face Iraq war crime trials
Colin Blackstock and Richard Norton-Taylor
Wednesday July 20, 2005
The Guardian

Three British soldiers are – for the first time – to stand trial for war crimes against Iraqi detainees under the jurisdiction of the international criminal court (ICC), the attorney general, Lord Goldsmith, said last night.
In an unprecedented move that top military commanders have feared since the ICC Act’s introduction in 2001, British soldiers face prosecution for the war crime of inhuman treatment of detainees, although the men will face court martial in this country rather than being tried in The Hague.

Eleven servicemen face a range of charges in two separate cases arising from alleged incidents in the southern Iraqi city of Basra in September 2003.

The former commanding officer of the Queen’s Lancashire Regiment, Colonel Jorge Mendonca, is charged with negligently performing a duty.

The charges come after a long build-up in which the Ministry of Defence was castigated by the high court for being too slow in getting the prosecution going.

Senior military figures are seething that British soldiers will face charges under the legislation introduced by the then foreign secretary, Robin Cook, in the face of fierce military opposition.

British defence officials last night said inhuman treatment would have been unlawful under existing statutes already enshrined in British law.

But legal sources said the soldiers have been charged, on the advice of the Army Prosecuting Authority, under the ICC Act because that was the most recent legislation covering such allegations.

In a written parliamentary statement, Lord Goldsmith said that the prosecuting authority has decided that in the first case, seven servicemen should stand trial by court martial.

The case relates to alleged incidents that took place between September 13 and 15 2003. They are alleged to have committed a number of offences against Iraqi detainees arrested following a planned operation.

One of the detainees, Baha Da’oud Salim Musa, was allegedly inhumanely treated and killed by one of those charged, Corporal Donald Payne, 34, of the Queen’s Lancashire Regiment.

Cpl Payne is also alleged to have inhumanely treated other detainees. He faces charges of manslaughter, inhuman treatment of persons – the ICC Act offence – and perverting the course of justice.

It is further alleged that two other servicemen inhumanely treated the internees, who sustained injuries following repeated assaults.

Lance Corporal Wayne Crowcroft, 21, of the Queen’s Lancashire Regiment, and Private Darren Fallon, 22, of the Queen’s Lancashire Regiment, are also charged under the ICC Act.

A fourth serviceman, Sergeant Kelvin Stacey, 28, of the Queen’s Lancashire Regiment, is alleged to have assaulted a detainee and faces a charge of assault causing actual bodily harm, alternatively common assault.

The three remaining servicemen, Warrant Officer Mark Davies, 36, of the Intelligence Corps, Major Michael Peebles, 34, of the Intelligence Corps, and Colonel Jorge Mendonca, 41, lately of the Queen’s Lancashire Regiment, are charged with negligently performing their duties or neglecting to perform a duty, contrary to the Army Act 1955.

In the second case, the authority directed that four servicemen should stand trial for the manslaughter of Ahmed Kareem, an Iraqi civilian.

That allegation relates to an incident in Basra on May 8 2003.

It is alleged that the four servicemen detained four suspected looters, of whom Mr Kareem was one.

Three of those charged with the unlawful killing of Mr Kareem are Sergeant Carle Selman, 38, of the Scots Guards; Guardsman Martin McGing, 21, of the Irish Guards; and Guardsman Joseph McCleary, 23, also with the Irish Guards.

Another, 21-year-old lance corporal, with the Irish Guards, has yet to be informed of the charge against him and has not yet been named.

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